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Tips for Choosing the Right Travel Assignment

As with any career, the more experience you have, the easier it is to make decisions about what your next steps should be.  In your career as a travel healthcare professional, you are in the fortunate position of being able to choose your assignments based on your personal goals and career objectives.  There aren’t many careers that allow a person to select a new assignment every thirteen weeks.  If you are relatively new to this travel career, there are some things to keep in mind to help you choose the right travel assignment.
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As with any career, the more experience you have, the easier it is to make decisions about what your next steps should be.  In your career as a travel healthcare professional, you are in the fortunate position of being able to choose your assignments based on your personal goals and career objectives.  There aren’t many careers that allow a person to select a new assignment every thirteen weeks.  If you are relatively new to this travel career, there are some things to keep in mind to help you choose the right travel assignment.

Before selecting any travel assignment, it is important to understand what you are looking for in this next opportunity.  By answering a few questions up front, you can help yourself, and your recruiter, find the perfect fit.

  1. What is your priority for this next assignment?  Are you looking at an assignment specifically for non-work-related reasons?  For example, is this next assignment an opportunity to visit a particular area or location, to be near friends or family?  The motivation behind your next move is key to making the best choice in assignments.
  2. What type of facility are you looking to work at?  Decide if you have a preference for working in a large trauma center, a teaching hospital, or a small community-based hospital, etc.  If you are accustomed to working in a particular type of environment and are not looking to step outside your comfort zone, then the type of facility will be critical to your assignment outcomes.
  3. Will you be using this assignment for professional growth?  Some assignments are going to provide you with more opportunities for professional growth.  For example, by choosing a famous medical center that you have always wanted to work at, or a large medical center utilizing the latest medical technologies; you are naturally going to have experiences that will stand out on your resume.
  4. Don’t settle on things that are important to you.  One of the best things about being a traveler is that you are in control of your destiny.  If you have never been comfortable working the overnight shift, don’t settle on an assignment in one of your desired destinations if you are going to end up being miserable because of the shift work.  Knowing what the key things are that you need to be comfortable with goes a long way toward your success and enjoyment of the assignment.
  5. Are there any “red flags”?  When presented with an assignment opportunity, it is always important to listen to your gut.  You are going to be spending the next 13 weeks on this assignment and if there is something that is giving you a reason to pause, pay attention to it and determine if it is an insurmountable challenge.  Perhaps the assignment is in a location near a national park that you’ve always wanted to hike or camp, but the facility is located in a part of town that makes you uncomfortable.  This is a scenario that has to be overcome before deciding if you can be successful in the assignment.  Where will you be staying, what is the security situation around the facility, do you know someone who has worked there or can you speak with someone currently working there?  You may find out that your concerns are unfounded, but it is important to act on your initial instincts before making the commitment.

The keys to finding the right assignment will always vary from traveler to traveler.  That is why it is important for you to develop your own criteria and goals, then make sure that your recruiter is aware of and in alignment with what is important to you.  We want to hear about your keys to finding the right assignment, please comment in the section below, or stop by our Facebook page and tell us your story.